Since its creation from the old Northern Region of Nigeria more than four decades ago, Kano state have been showing keen interest in sports development by participating in many sporting events, competitions and tournaments in the state and the country at large.
It is on record that the state have recorded tremendous achievements in the history of its participation of the competitions mentioned above by winning lot of medals, matches and games. It is a fact that, no state is having the highest number of sports participation in Nigeria than Kano state. And this, have yielded fruits as the state have won various medals and trophies for the state.
But with all the medals and trophies won by our athletes and teams from various competitions, the state representatives are finding it difficult to perform better and win trophies for the state anytime they found themselves in any African competitions.
The question on the lips of many stake holders is why and when will our players come of age and play well to overcome and stop these harassment we are receiving continuously from these African team?
The history of Kano state’s participation in African league started in 1978 when the then Raccah Rovers Football Club of Kano state emerged champions of Nigerian league which gave it the opportunity to represented the country in the African Champions Cup in 1979.
Raccah Rovers started their African campaign on a good note by eliminating the Simba of Tanzania in the first round but also met its waterloo when Green Oree of Senegal edged them of the competition in the second round.
From the 1979 no any attempt by any Kano football club to register its presence in any African football competitions until the year 2009 when Kano Pillars Football Club won its first league title which equally qualified it to play CAF Champions league.
Kano Pillars even though new to African football competition, made surprises by scaling through from preliminary level to group stages and up to semi finals. And that was the first and the best outing since then.
In 2011 Kano Pillars qualified for the CAF Champions league again but could not go far as they were sacked by the Wydad Athletic Football Club of Morocco in the second round.
Kano Pillars Football Club qualified for CAF Champion League in 2013 but could not go beyond second round as AC Leopard Football Club of Congo thwarted their plans.
In the 2014, Kano Pillars were caged in the first round, following their elimination from the CAF Champions League by the AS Vita of DR Congo.
In 2015, Mogeb Tealont Football Club of Morocco spoiled the Kano Pillars Football Club show when they edged them out of the CAF Champion Competition in the second round.
And finally, Kano Pillars Football Club hope of doing better in the CAF Champions League in 2019 was shattered when Ashanti Kotoko Football Club eliminated them in the first round.
And the same ill-luck was repeated last week when Kano Pillars failed to overturned the 1-3 defeat it received in the hands of its host ASC Jafaar Football of Senegal who held them to a scoreless draw in Kaduna.
The same chains of bad lucks that have been befalling in our football cycle is also seen in other Kano Pillars sister clubs of like Basketball, Volleyball, Handballs etc
In Basketball for instance, the Kano Pillars Basketball have been playing in the African continent for long but only ended up in the third position twice (1984 and 1986) but never win any African trophy. They finished always third place position in African clubs Bassketball Championships.
And in Volleyball, the Kano Super Stars Volleyball Club now Kano Pillars who dominated the Nigerian volleyball scene in the 1980s could not win any African trophy for Kano state. Super Stars once defeated Zamalek in 1982 in their home Egypt.
The best they could attained was ending up in a third place position twice in (1987, 1989) in the African Clubs Volleyball Championship.
The story is the same for Kano Pillars Handball team as the team occasional African debuts could not produced a significant result. The team hosted African clubs Winners Handball cup in Kano in 1999 and finished second and could not win the trophy.
In 2018, Kano Pillars Handball team played African Handball Club Championship in Morocco but were eliminated in preliminary stage.
The Kano Pillars Handball team is to participate in November 2020 African Handball Toney but was postponed due to Covid-19.
From the catalog of defeats and losses above, there is a need to change gear and direction if at all we want to remove Kano teams from participating only but take Kano to winners camp or group.
To me, the only way to move to winning side is to create and establish an Elites Department in our institutions such as Kano Pillars Football Club, Kano Pillars Basketball Team, Kano Pillars Volleyball Team, Kano Pillars Handball Team.
The Elites Department is also needed in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and Kano State Sports Commission.
The Elites Department if created will be responsible for scouting and recruited quality, good and very experienced players not only in Nigeria but worldwide to beef up our teams for better results. They are to put high importance on players high and size status.
The elites department should also be responsible for employing coaches and technical advisers as well as sport medicine team.
The Elites Department should also plan and organize workshops, symposiums and courses within and outside the country. This will updates players and coaches knowledge of the game and general rules governing the competitions.
The Elites Department is to suggest games village, hostels and training and camping sites for the invited athletes and coaches. They are also expected to also to recommend allowances, salaries and welfare packages for them.